Reality Check 101

“Would you like anything? A glass of wine?”

That’s what my former history of journalism professor was asking me tonight, at her house. This was something I’d never imagined happening. But it’s true what everyone says – and I’ve said it plenty of times myself – the journalism department at Creighton is like a family.

I was recently invited to speak tonight at an informal gathering of journalism seniors. The theme was “Reality Check 101” and the focus was life after graduation – not so much the finding a job part, but the other things like managing your finances, your social life, and everything else you’re not prepared for.

At first, I didn’t want to go. I thought, “What advice could I possibly give them? I so DON’T have it together. I’m always stressed about my finances, I don’t want to tell them other than ‘bills suck!'” But my professor called me at my office (here’s some advice: don’t stay in the city you went to school in – they will always be able to find you!), and asked me to come. I couldn’t say no.

Turns out, I’m glad I went.

It was wonderful to see other people from my graduating class and realize they’re experiencing exactly what I’m experiencing. And I actually did have a few pieces of advice to give! For instance, when you settle down in a new city, find a regular doctor and establish a relationship with them…BEFORE you think you’ll need it. When my car was rear-ended and I needed to see a doctor to have a record of my whiplash injuries for the insurance company, I had no idea where to go. It would have been so much easier if I’d already found a doctor in Omaha that I liked and trusted.

And, I think I actually inspired a girl from my graduating class when I talked about my zumba and ballet classes. She said she’d been looking for a place to take classes, so I gave her the name of my studio. It was cool to be able to share stuff like that.